Marshfield Completes New Model High School

MARSHFIELD, Mass. — The Marshfield community officially cut the ribbon on a new 267,500-square-foot high school facility on Aug. 8. The three-story building will serve more than 1,300 students from nine surrounding communities, is 60,000 square feet larger than its predecessor. The design aims for LEED Gold, and was based on those of other schools built recently in the region, allowing the project to benefit from the state’s Model School reimbursement program.

A vast improvement over the original facility, which was completed in 1969, the new Marshfield High School provides students with modern learning spaces and improved facilities both inside and out. All classrooms are equipped with a teaching wall for enhanced instruction, and even floor space has been turned into teaching space in some areas. Additionally, where many classrooms in the old facility featured accordion-style walls, the new school has proper structural divisions between learning spaces.

Also included in the design are a marine fabrication laboratory, a student-managed restaurant, and the schools very first auditorium. A new gymnasium, laboratories, a public fitness center, a robotics room and a state-of-the-art television production studio comprise the school’s most exciting new features.

During demolition of the original building, the school’s football stadium and surrounding athletic fields were also impacted. However, new synthetic and natural turf fields and 10 new multi-purpose fields have taken their place. Nearby new grandstands, a press box and concessions and ticketing buildings round out Marshfield’s outdoor offerings.

Though unique to the community, the school design has been replicated several times in recent years through the Model School reimbursement program. According to a release by the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), the Model School Program, which was established in 2008, incorporates successful elements from existing schools into the design of new facilities. Through this program, districts can simplify the design process, streamline construction, reduce the amount of time it takes to build a new facility and utilize design dynamics already deemed successful by students, teachers and administrators. The program also allowed the school to qualify for a 5 percent reimbursement on construction costs.
At the school’s September 2012 groundbreaking, State Treasurer Steven Grossman said he was delight to see the program being used at Marshfield. “The Model School Program is an innovative initiative that has been tremendously successful, and it has helped communities across the Commonwealth save valuable time and money while delivering top-notch schools and modern learning environments for our students,” Grossman said.
The repurposed design embraces both modern and traditional architectural elements, and uses building materials associate with classic New England architecture. However, Marshfield students and faculty were able to put their own unique spin on the facility by naming its hallways after streets in the community. Stairways will be named for local beaches.

Compass Project Management served as the project manager and Brait Builders constructed the $101.6 million school, which came in nearly $3 million under budget. The MSBA will contribute more than half of these costs.